Independent Insurance Agents of Nebraska
October, 2013

Mark Your Calendar!


 37th Annual Winter Conference


12 CEUs* - P/C &


Expanded Exhibit Hall 

Over 40 Exhibitors

February 5-6, 2014
Ramada Inn, Kearney

*approval pending 


 Certificates of Insurance Issues & Answers 2013

 IIABA Webinar

November 14, 2013

 1-3 PM CST 

2 CEUs approved


Find Out More & Register Here 




Technology Corner  


Take 5-Minute ACT Digital Marketing Survey

By November 15

Get Free Copy of Results


The survey, which will take less than five minutes to complete, represents an effort to generate much-needed industry information on agency website usage and effectiveness. 

Only one response per agency will be necessary.


All participating agencies will receive a copy of the survey findings, which should help you gain insight into how your peers are leveraging their websites and using other digital tools to market their agencies. Individual responses and email addresses will not be disclosed or used in any way for marketing purposes. 


ACT greatly appreciates your assistance in helping the industry gain much-needed information by completing this survey. 


Click here to take survey




Enhanced goes live! 

Trusted Choice and Project CAP have announced successful completion of the initial launch and testing phase of the new consumer website. The Big "I" encourages independent agents who are interested in connecting with today's online consumers to enroll now.

Read more . . .


Contact Phil Harr at the IIAN office to find out how your agency can sign up and establish an instant digital presence so consumers can find you - at little or no cost!

and click here 

for more info online!

Job Bank/Human Resources


Post your openings and resumes.




Thanks to the Big "I" Industry Partner for October



Their support enables IIAN to present affordable, high-quality member programs.

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New IIAN Officers & Directors Elected in Lincoln
Dee Sykora of Omaha is President 
Dee Sykora,

 IIAN members elected new officers and directors at the association's annual business meeting on Wednesday, October 16 in Lincoln, at the Big "I" Annual Awards luncheon during IIAN's 105th annual convention. IIAN's new president is Dee M. Sykora, AAI, AU, CPIW, with Gallagher Grace Mayer Insurance in Omaha. Click here for President's Sykora's inaugural address.  Also elected were Philip F. Winkelmann, Omaha Insurance Services in Omaha - Vice President, Michael E. Jones, CIC, Jones Insurance Agency in David City - Secretary-Treasurer. Five IIAN directors were also elected.  More . . .  

106th Annual Convention Features CSR Day, Obamacare, Going Mobile & CE

400 Attend in Lincoln - $14,500 Raised For IIAN Foundation Insurance Education Programs  

 Over 400 IIAN members and company representatives attended "Lighting Up Our Future", IIAN's 106th annual convention held at the Embassy Suites in Lincoln, October 15-17.

"I was happy to see so many IIAN members from the Lincoln area at the convention - especially all of the young agents and first-timers," commented Dee Sykora of Omaha, who was elected and installed as IIAN's new president during the convention. "Thanks to Annual Convention committee chairperson Erica Tucker, CISR from Lincoln, and her committee, who did a great job of putting together an excellent program." The highlight of the convention was the 3rd Annual IIAN Foundation Live Auction on October 16, where members noshed at elegant food tables in the star-studded ballroom, and raised $14,500 to support the Foundation's programs to attract new talent to the independent agency system.

106th Annual Convention Chairperson Erica Tucker as Cinderella and IIAN National Director John Deardorff as Alladin's Genie, greet Lincoln-area Make-A-Wish kids at the trade fair.  IIAN members raised $500 for Nebraska Make-A-Wish by purchasing their own "star". 


Click here for full convention report. 

Click here for a list of exhibitors and sponsors, along with contact information.

Click here for more trade fair photos.   

Annual, Special IIAN Awards Presented October 16

Outgoing IIAN president Lisa L. Davis, CPCU, ARM-P, ARe, presented IIAN's annual agent and company awards at the Big "I" Annual Awards luncheon on October 16 in Lincoln.

Member agents honored were David R. Chastain, CPCU, CLU - Distinguished Service; Kathryn A. Kochenower, CIC, CRM, AIP - Chairman of the Year; and Jamie Gustafson - Young Agent of the Year, along with Chastain Insurance of Omaha, Trusted Choice Agency of the Year. Company awards went to Steve Linbo, FirstComp Insurance - Company Rep of the Year; and FirstComp Insurance, Mark Thramer and Jerico Vinsonhaler - Five-Star Company of the Year.  
More . . . 
Excellence in Education Recognized October 15

CSR of the Year, CISR Designees, Scholarship Winners Honored 

 IIAN's Annual Education Recognition Luncheon was held on October 15 in Lincoln, as part of "Customer Service Representative Day" during the association's 106th annual convention.   The annual event recognizes those who have achieved high educational goals.   IIAN Foundation President Dave Chastain, CPCU, CLU, and IIAN Professional Development  Committee chairperson Katie Kochenower, CIC, ARM, AIP, also gave an update on the Foundation's expanding programs and recent achievements. Read about all of the honorees here, 

See photos here. 

Elite Sales Force Class of 2013 Graduates!

Martens & Vontz Recognized As "Top of Class"
The year 2013 was another success for the Midwest Elite ForceSales Training school!  IIAN is proud to announce 11 new Elite Sales Force graduates have completed one of the most comprehensive insurance sales training courses in the business, and earned the Associate in Insurance production (AIP) professional designation.   They all completed 12 full days of classroom study at IIAN's learning center in Lincoln, augmented by extensive readings and practical application of communication and organizational skills back in their agencies, and reported their sales activities on a monthly basis.

The Elite Force Class of 2013:
Elliott Bassett, AIP - Ellerbrock-Norris Insurance, Omaha
Nicky Christophersen, AIP - The Hoffman Agency, Onawa, Iowa
Mitch Freshour, AIP - Weber Insurance, Columbus
Michael Graves, AIP - Affiliated Brokers, Kearney
Tyson Jordening, AIP - Gary Thompson Agency, Blue Hill
Kimberly Manning, AIP - Typer Insurance, Newton, Kansas
Mike Martens, AIP - The Hoffman Agency, Dunlap, Iowa
Matt Newcomb, AIP - Grabenstein Insurance, Eustis
Tony Purvis, AIP - Gary Thompson Agency, Kearney
Rex Santero, AIP -  Platte Valley Agency, Ogallala
Waid Vontz, AIP - Gary Thompson Agency, Superior

     Mike Martens and Wade Vontz were presented "Top of Class" awards for Out-of-State and Nebraska at IIAN's Annual Awards luncheon on October 16 in Lincoln. 

The 2014 Elite Force Class starts May 12, 2014!  
Click here for testimonials, more information, and registration link.

Big "I" Says McKinsey Conclusions Off Base - Independent Agency System

But agents need to evolve their approach to capture more personal lines - Consumer Agent Portal can help


Robert Rusbuldt, IIABA CEO, finds serious flaws with much of a recently released study titled "Agents of the Future: the Evolution of Property and Casualty Insurance Distribution" by McKinsey & Company.  

     "McKinsey's proclamation that it is 'The End of an Era for the Local Insurance Agent' is dead wrong," says Rusbuldt. "A number of studies over the last several decades have decreed the demise of the independent agency system, and they have all been wrong. Independent agents are resilient entrepreneurs who know how to adapt to marketplace changes." 
     To McKinsey's credit, noted Rusbuldt, their study does provide agents with several recommendations as to how they can position themselves for success in the future.
2013 Household Insurance and Bundling Survey

Don't miss long-term opportunity by ignoring renters' needs


Insurance agents who only focus on homeowners insurance customers are missing a golden opportunity to build long-term relationships with renter customers as their insurance needs grow due to life or circumstance changes - such as having a family, purchasing a home or an additional car - according to the recently released J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Household Insurance and Bundling Study.  The full story.